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 Defoe’s technique in producing the effect of Realism in his novel Robinson Crusoe.

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Presentation on theme: " Defoe’s technique in producing the effect of Realism in his novel Robinson Crusoe."— Presentation transcript:

1  Defoe’s technique in producing the effect of Realism in his novel Robinson Crusoe

2  Defoe described the book as “a just history of fact”. The story in this book was historical and therefore authentic. Defoe claimed that Robinson Crusoe was historical in a deeper sense and said that the book was an allegory of his own life.  The Novel, based on Selkirk’s Experiences  Robinson Crusoe was based upon the actual experiences of a real man called Alexander Selkirk who has spent four years alone, all alone in the island of Juan Fernandez. But, while recognizing this we must admit that the hero of this novel is is an imaginary character and that, there is resemblance between Selkkirk’s life on the actual island of Juan Fernandez and Crusoe’s life on an imaginary island. Defoe’s story of Crusoe’s experiences and doings is largely fictitious.

3  This novels has been celebrated as the boy story. Robinson Crusoe is certainly an adventure story, and a most remarkable one. But it is much more than that. It has been found by critics to be rich in symbolic meanings. It is first of all a religious allegory. It depicts the original sin of which a man finds himself guilty, and the consequences of which he has to endure. The message of Defoe is that the hero should repent of his sin. Crusoe is the prodigal son who had disobeyed his father. The novel depicts the spiritual development of Crusoe----- his recognition of his original sin, his repentance, his self-reform, in short his religious conversion.  Another allegorical way of looking at the novel is to regard Crusoe as everyman, or as a representative of humanity in general. Crusoe’s sufferings, punctuated by feeling of relief, contentment, and joy, symbolize the experience of all humanity.

4  Some critics have offered other allegorical interpretations of the story. One critic describes the story of Crusoe as a version of the Biblical story of the Prodigal son. Crusoe is the prodigal son who leaves his father’s advice, who ruins himself by his roaming nature, who is then left solitary and desolate, who repents of his disobedience to his father, and who eventually returns to his father. Crusoe recognizes the fact that he has been treated by the creator most mercifully, and that God has sweetened his bitter life on the island with his generosity. He imagined himself as the king of the whole island.

5 Robinson Crusoe indeed shows Defoe as a skilled craftsman in the manner in which he has constructed the plot of this novel. One critic shows that it is indeed not possible to remove any event or incident from the novel without damaging the novel as a whole. The thematic unity of the novel This novel may be regarded as a version of the biblical story of the prodigal son or as a version of the progression from Do-well through Do-better to Do- best. In Defoe’s novel, Crusoe is the prodigal son who leaves his father’s house against advice, who ruins himself by roaming, and who returns to his God and is blessed with abundance of everything on the island. Therefore, the novel will be found to possess a thematic unity. P.T.O

6 Robinson Crusoe is as much the story of a man’s psychology development and spiritual progress as a tale of adventure in the physical sense. It is very much a novel for adult reader. This novel tells the gripping story of the hardships which the protagonist experiences, but it also gives us an engrossing account of the thoughts, emotions, and moods of the protagonist at various stages in his eventful career. The novel is thus a narrative of action and a mirror of thought and feeling. It depicts the process by which the man achieves a triumph over his hostile environment, it also depicts the journey of that man’s mind and soul towards God.

7  In Brazil, Crusoe finds himself in that middle station of life which his father had strongly recommended to him. But he doesn’t feel content with this middle station. His middle station did not satisfy him in England; and it does not satisfy him in Brazil. He now wishes to pursue a rush desire to rise faster. After staying in Brazil for four years, he decides to go on another voyage. This voyage also ends in disaster. All his friends perish and he finds himself alone survivor on an uninhabited island. In due course, he is able to adjust himself to his new life. He finds himself alive while all his companions had been drowned. God had saved him and helped him to live in that island. He is not starving, but is able to feed on the meet of animals and birds. He is on a warm island where he does not need much clothes. There are no wild animals to hurt him. God had sent the wrecked ship near enough to the shore so that he was in a position to obtain many necessary things from there. The realization of the positive side of his life on the island is more than the negative side, makes him feel quite cheerful. Here is an important stage in Crusoe’s spiritual development.

8 Analysis of Major Characters

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